Thinking and planning about how to run a really effective disability organisation, I have been reading How to Thrive Under the NDIS* by Fran Connelley. Apart from the excellent common sense approach, there are some great interviews with people with disabilities and their families. More than one interviewee raised the issue of needing to spend time with a broad range of people: ‘Imagine what it would be like if you had no choice about who you spent time with … if everyone you saw was paid to be with you?’
While worst affected are the disabled with no say, there are many people who spend their time surrounded only by people paid to be there: politicians, rock stars and many of our leaders. We need to think hard about this, make an effort to really be in the lives of those who need it, to say ‘Hello’, and listen to those who might not have many chances for real conversations.
Look around you. How many people are paid to be there? Whose company do you really value? Whose counsel do you trust?
We need to be generous with our time and our attention, and grateful for our friends.
* The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a healthcare program for Australians with a disability initiated by the Australian Government.